Posts Tagged ‘Iyengar’

Day 35 Santa Cruz-Body and Soul-Jim Gallas

“On the Road Again”…
On the Road Again

On the Road Again

Leavin’ Lake Tahoe this morning, still filled with the “peace, love and happiness” hangover from “Wanderlust”, the smilin’ YoYo’s were overjoyed at all the cars that were honkin’ and wavin’ as they seemingly recognized the YoYo’s in the YoYo mobile.  It wasn’t until one annoyed passerbyer screamed un-yoigilike obscenities and added the middle finger that the oblivious, overly peaced-out YoYo’s realized we were doin’ under 50, on this hyper-speed highway headin’ toward our next destination….Santa Cruz, California.

Downtown Santa Cruz

Downtown Santa Cruz

Just a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean, the perfect temperature reads 72 and breezy.  Old hippies, new hippies and a beautiful kaleidoscope of a most diverse group were hangin’ at the colorful outdoor downtown cafes, wired coffee houses and mega-metaphysical book stores.  The stunning tree lined, city center walking streets that lead to the sea are home to flip-flops and lap-tops.  Casual and free, the YoYo’s love the loads of super-cheap healthy restaurants, tattoo parlors, unique boutiques and famous California surf shops  that give this free spirited beach town its unique charm.

Body and Soul

Body and Soul Yoga

Finding our fortune on a hidden back street, we entered the rumored, oldest building in Santa Cruz, holding its century and ½ history under its “seen everything” roof.  After the legendary “Wanderlust” crowds of the past weekend, the YoYo’s were eager to enjoy a personal practice in the intimate space of Body and Soul Yoga- A Salon for the Healing Arts.   As we entered the western façade of this super-cool “movie set” antique building, we breathed in the creative imagination of owner Susan Merritt, who transformed this space into a soothing, light-filled, super-comfortable studio.

Jim Gallas

Jim Gallas

Immediately feeling the much anticipated individual love and attention from our guiding light, Jim Gallas, in his simply titled class…Yoga 1-3, this “all heart”, super-friendly, wealth of information, generous teacher gave unsurpassed skilled adjustments. Cleverly, with the joyful energy of Dustin Hoffman in “Meet the Falkers”, Jim partnered the yogis as he carefully taught his superb secrets of fine-tuning a fellow yogi to help them feel asana more deeply.  Light-hearted and casual, Jim continued to share years of his vast and varied experience with this familiar group of committed yogis…and tonight, with the YoYo’s, who were lucky enough to be part of this Santa Cruz yoga family.

It’s so good to be on the road again….

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Day 83 LA-Yogaworks-Lisa Walford

Mile Wide Santa Monica Beaches

Mile Wide Santa Monica Beaches

Drivin’ down Pacific Coast Highway, the stunned YoYos were taken by the sheer amount of white sand that separates the traffic from the sea. Santa Monica… with its endless beaches, perfect waves and yoga to beat the band. It’s no wonder yogis flock here, practice here, train here and stay here. Today, we enter the studio that has given birth, and amazin’ life to so many “off the charts” teachers, the original Yogaworks Montana, which thrives as the epicenter of this illustrious beach town’s daily yoga fest.

Lisa Walford

Lisa Walford

We parked our worn through flip-flops in the outdoor cubbies flankin’ the relaxin’ yogi hang-out patio/parkin’ lot, and entered to find the always “glad to see ya” smiles that we’ve come to identify with this nationwide group of “not to miss” studios. Brimmin’ with signature style, we pierced the mat-to-mat, Monday mornin’, 9 am space wonderin’ if everyone in this star-studded town works crazy road-trippin’ hours or if the overflowin’ creativity that floods through its veins allows artistic license to practice killer yoga during the ol’ 9-5. It is our most humblin’ honor to join this fortunate class who claim respected Iyengar leader Lisa Walford, as their “teacher”, understandin’ this intense practice would seriously tweak our “always in need of tunin’” alignment, for all eternity.

Alignment Queen Lisa

Posture PhD

An immediate hush overcame the chatty room as eagle-eyed Lisa entered and immediately identified the “newbie’s” dotted through the enormous group of loyal devotees. Zeroin’ in and takin’ names, this connected teacher never let any of us,” Lisa first-timers” out of her sight. Workin’ though a focused series of hip alignment with intense leg tightenin’ emphasis, this expert guide attentively assisted each and every yogi in that vast room, ensurin’ all were workin’ the pose , exactly the way it was intended . Makin’ note of personal injuries and any restrictions, this fireball of energy, posture PhD presented continual easy- to- follow, flawless directions, and guided every committed yogi with tender lovin’ care.

Today, our magnificent guide left no room to do anything but completely focus on those teensy-tiny internal happenin’s allowin’ these “sometimes easy to drift” YoYo’s, to stay in the all emcompassin,’ present moment. What a lesson to take with us on this incredible yogic journey!


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